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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Estate sale: sewing machines and quilts

I went to an estate sale Thursday afternoon after I'd completed some library errands. There were two sewing machines:  a Singer Touch and Sew from the 1970's and a treadle whose brand isn't clear from the worn decal. (Though its price is clear: $300!)  I passed on both of them.

There were also three quilts for sale, $40 each.  Two of them tempted me -- until I unfolded them and looked closely. 

The 1930's Dresden Plate variation was beautifully pieced and hand-quilted.  The worn/chewed spots dissuaded me. 

The Lone Star was also beautifully pieced--look at the color gradation!--and quilted. Do you see the shadowing at the "1 o'clock" point?  That was a big brown stain.  The quilt had evidently been stored on a wooden shelf or, more likely, in a wooden blanket chest, with no barrier between the wood and the quilt.

Then there was this colorful scrappy quilt with embroidery where the patches join. The back is a not-coordinated bedsheet.

BTW, none of the quilts was labeled. :(

Here's what I *did* buy!  It's an autograph book that belonged to Erma Gerlach in Kiel-Hassee, Germany, in "Kriegsjahr 1914-1915."  That's "war year" (subsequent entries are dated 1916).   Her friends had wonderful handwriting.  I can't make out much of it at all (my language is French), and my husband's h.s./college German is pretty rusty.  I will need to find a German-speaker (teacher? professor?) who can translate for me. 

And now I'd like to know the story of the people whose estate was sold.  Who made the quilts?  Was Erma Gerlach an ancestor or did they buy the autograph book at someone else's estate sale?


  1. what a find! be sure and post the story when you have tracked it down....

  2. How cool. I've been to a couple of estate sales but never found quilts or machines. Maybe one day.

  3. let me try. To where fate may guide you + think back to parents house + how father, mother day and night + so faithful protected you + see it as your child-duty + don't ever forget! It rhymes in german. She misspelled 'forget' according to meter ;-)
    Very nice found.
    Happy quilting! Laura


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